Philly was born and raised in Chester, England.  She sat on her first pony when she was only two years old, and the rest is history.

Whoops A Daisy, a.k.a. Daisy, was purchased during Philippa's second year at the University of Leeds, England.  Philly competed her up to the Intermediate level in England before she brought her over to the US when she moved here in 2005.  She completed her first Advanced Horse Trial at Richland Park HT in 2007, finishing in 6th place amongst top four star competitors like Karen O'Connor.

Get to know Philly!
If you would like to know more about Philly, send her an email with your question and 
it could be featured below!

WHY DO YOU LIKE TO TEACH/TRAIN?
I enjoy every aspect of my work- the main reasons why I enjoy teaching and training is because it's very rewarding.  Watching someone improve because of my input is very satisfying.  I especially enjoy taking on 'difficult' horses, when someone has said 'that horse will never make anything', or 'that horse is crazy' I like to have a crack at giving the horse a chance.  Also, the horses are my best friends, I love every one of them, the road to success is very fun and I build a great partnership with each and every one of them.

WHO GOT YOU STARTED IN EVENTING, WHO SPARKED YOUR INTEREST?
Tuffy Tilley, my event trainer in England.  I fox hunted as a child and have always enjoyed high risk activities so naturally eventing was a path I had wanted to take from a young age. 

IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING ELSE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Gosh, now that's a question!!  I always saw myself as my own boss, I'm not good at answering to others, but am always willing to listen to what people have to say.  I have a degree in Physical Education but never wanted to teach in a school, because when teaching in a school the kids are more so forced in taking the class rather than wanting to be there.  The kids and adults that I teach in eventing have the want to learn and further themselves within the sport.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST SKILL OR ACCOMPLISHEMENT?
Riding at the Advanced level with my mare Whoops a Daisy, who I produced myself from nothing. A horse, every one including my trainer at the time said would never go that far.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST HARDSHIP FOR YOU?
Injury to the horses.  At the end of the day they are athletes and to produce an upper level event horse is a long road.  It takes at least 5 years to get an event horse up to top level and thats only if everything goes smoothly.  It's a tough road to get there and even harder to stay there. 

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF EVENTING?
Definitly the cross country, it's an amazing feeling.  Just you and your horse out in the country. It's a great partnership and involves huge trust between horse and rider.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST  MISTAKE YOU HAVE MADE?
Asking too much of a young horse which resulted in me braking my pelvis.  One thing though is I am proud of myself for being able to admit to mistakes that I have made.  Unfortunately, the only way to learn is through mistakes you or others have made and the biggest step in learning from mistakes is recognizing that they were mistakes and not a "coincidence".

IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING OVER WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Never regret the decisions you make, life is a big learning curve, I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason.

WHO/WHAT IS YOU BIGGEST OBSTACLE?
Financial would be my biggest obstacle.  Horses are very expensive, you can never have enough financial backing.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?
I wouldn't say I have a specific role model,  but anyone who rides at the upper levels I have total respect for.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO AN UPCOMING STUDENT?
It's not as easy as it looks! You need to be 100% dedicated to be successful at this sport, enjoy the highs and deal with the lows.  You have to be a tough cookie, physically and emotionally.

HAS THE ECONONMY EFFECTED WHAT YOU DO?
Yes and no. Now that diesel prices have gone down it makes things a little easier!  I guess, people are being more careful with their money. 

WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO COME TO THE STATES?
My Husband Peter.  I was at a turning point in my life and this opportunity came along, so I thought why not.  I'm very philosophical, if it hadn't have worked out I could have just gone back to England and seen it as a life experience.  Luckily it did and I love my life here in the states!

WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TRAINERS?
I'm English!  Not really...What truely makes me different from other trainers is that I'm very passionate about what I do and I think people find that attractive.  I never say never, because I believe if you work hard enough you will reach your goals.  You make your own luck!

WHAT ADVICE WAS GIVEN TO YOU WHEN YOU CHOSE THIS CAREER?
Anyone who knows me knew I was always going to be involved with horses.  The best advice I have ever been given (at the time I didn't agree with it, but I totally do now) is to get an education. You always need something to fall back you never know what the future will hold!

WHAT DID OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOUR CHOICE OF CAREER?
They were not surprised and most were very supportive, others think it's a crazy sport and very dangerous. Anyone who cares about you will support whatever path you want to take.  I do my passion as my job-It doesn't get much better than that!
                Philippa Humphreys Eventing
About Philippa Richards
Written by: Kate Dernocoeur, client, friend, and owner of Gentleman Jack, 
ridden by Philippa at Intermediate in 2008

Since coming to America in her early twenties in 2005 from Northern Wales in Great Britain, Philippa Richards has gained a solid reputation as a horsewoman, teacher, trainer, and to many, a good friend. We have her childhood buddy, Peter Humphreys to thank for the fact that Philippa landed in West Michigan. They were friends as children who met at the family grouse hunting moor and Philippa came to he USA to see if things would work out with the man who is now her husband. They did…

Following her to Michigan a few months later was Philippa’s beloved and talented Advanced horse, Whoops-A-Daisy, (nickname: Daisy), who ran her first Advanced course in America at Richland Park in September 2007 to the cheers of Philippa’s growing army of fans. Her ultimate ambition as a horsewoman is to ride at the pinnacle of our sport, the blue-riband Rolex. If it turns out that Daisy is not to be the one and you own a talented horse such an exceptional rider might ride, Philippa is eager to talk to you!

Although she prefers to ride, Philippa has also blossomed as an intuitive, talented, and very savvy trainer. She knows horses inside and out and can tell when they are ready to try something new. She also has the knack of knowing when each rider is ready to move on to a higher level, stretch themselves and try something new. She has worked out the knack of putting those two things together so that rider and horse work in perfect harmony. This rare skill makes riding with Philippa into an almost magical experience.

Her client list speaks for itself. Riders and horses trained by Philippa enter competition confident and prepared. When “on the road” in Kentucky, Wisconsin , Ohio , and elsewhere, she is sought out by event managers to be their rider rep, and by young rider groups for course walks. Maybe it’s that tantalizing English accent that ropes them in to start with, but people stay because what Philippa says rings true – even when her assessment might not be quite what you wanted to hear!

Philippa may be young, but horses have ruled her life since she was three when she had her first ride on a pony; she has the photo! Determined to devote her life to horses, she was one of those “catch-ride” kids who’d ride any horse, just to have a mount. In time she wore her parents down and was given her first pony at age 8.

Fortunately, a renowned English trainer, Tuffy Tilley saw Philippa and her Mum at one of Philippa’s early events, and took her under her wing. For 8 years, Phillippa rode with Tuffy and made the rounds of the event scene in England , riding the equivalent of American Preliminary courses as young as 14 years of age. She reckons she rode at many events between the ages of 14 and coming to America on several different horses, and to the equivalent of our Intermediate level.

We are lucky that Peter moved to West Michigan, thus luring Philippa to our beautiful end of the state. She has brought a new level of professionalism and experience to the Michigan horse world. She has helped many people leap above what they thought were their own limitations to higher levels of competition, but also to higher levels of enjoyment of the sport and the camaraderie it generates.